What is your favorite chocolate dessert? If you ask my husband, the answer is shown in this post. We celebrated his birthday recently and I was wondering what special cake should I bake for him. I thought about the cake decoration, the frosting, the flavors, the candles, there were lots of ideas going on in my mind. Instead of making a surprise, a few days before I decided to simply ask him what he would prefer. “Brownies, of course – he said. Oh, and no candles please.” I see, forget about the decoration, frosting, ganache, whatever. The requirements were very clear: Has to be truly madly deeply full of chocolate and super fudge. That’s it! My birthday challenge was to make the best brownies ever, nothing less.
Granted, I couldn’t conceptualize the best brownies of all times without including the word healthy in it. And since for the chocolate-cocoa part we were saved because of all the worldwide known benefits, I concentrated my focus on the fat, sugar and flour. That translated into substituting the saturated and high on cholesterol butter for the monounsaturated medicinal “liquid gold”; reducing the sugar without compromising the taste, by using semi-sweet chocolate to compensate, and choosing the nutritious and fiber-rich whole wheat flour. How that sounds?
The verdict was unanimously positive. The brownies are husband-approved and the little one, after sneaking a few chocolate chips, caught me in a moment of distraction while taking these pictures and ran away with a square. The joyful faces were all I needed to see. Even when I declared I made those with zucchini and broccoli (oh, the shocking news!) to be the healthiest, the brownies still vanished in no time. I didn’t use any green vegetable in this recipe. But maybe I will next time.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 whole milk
- 1 tsp pure almond extract
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 16 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of a stand or hand mixer, whisk the sugar and the eggs.
- Add in the other three liquid ingredients (olive oil, milk and pure almond extract).
- Incorporate the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cocoa and pinch of salt) and blend just until combined.
- In a small bowl, melt 8 oz of chocolate in the microwave, for 1 minute (30 seconds interval). Stir until smooth.
- Add to the batter, whisking vigorously until blended.
- With a spatula, add the remaining chocolate chips (8 oz) stirring well.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. (30 minutes was just right for me, it kept the brownies extra fudgy).